Stress Management: Some Self-Care Techniques
Many people don't realize it, but stress is a very natural and important part of life. However much the typical Jewish student activist might feel that they don't want any stress, at a certain level it is healthy. Our bodies are designed to react to two types of stress - eustress (good stress) and distress (bad stress). Eustress helps keep us alert, motivates us to face challenges, and drives us to solve problems. These low levels of stress are manageable and can be thought of as necessary and normal stimulation.
Distress, on the other hand, results when our bodies over-react to events. It leads to what has been called a "fight or flight" reaction. Distress can stop us functioning well, and is unpleasant. If Jewish student activist's feel from stress they might well want to stop volunteering in their J-Soc, as well as becoming unhappy. It is worth learning to cope with stress.
When we view something as manageable our body doesn't go haywire; it remains alert, but not alarmed. But the more we sense danger (social or physical), the more our body reacts. Have you ever been called upon to give an extemporaneous talk and found that your heart pounded so loudly and your mouth was so dry that you thought you just couldn't do it? That's over-reaction. Problems occur when over activation of the sympathetic system is unnecessary. If we react too strongly or let the small over-reactions (the daily hassles) pile up, we may run into physical, as well as psychological, problems.
What we all need is to learn approach matters in more realistic and reasonable ways. Strong reactions are better reserved for serious situations. Manageable reactions are better for the everyday issues that we all have to face.
SOME HEALTHFUL HINTS
Try the following hints for learning to deal with stress: